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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 12:23 AM
Original message
US troops in Niger to set up drone base
Edited on Sat Feb-23-13 12:40 AM by No Elephants
Feb 22, 10:10 PM EST

US troops in Niger to set up drone base

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama said Friday that about 100 American troops have been deployed to the African nation of Niger. Two U.S. defense officials said the troops would be setting up a base for unarmed drones to conduct surveillance.

Obama announced the deployment in a letter to Congress, saying that the forces "will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region."

The move marks a deepening of U.S. efforts to stem the spread of al-Qaida and its affiliates in the volatile region. It also underscores Obama's desire to fight extremism without involving large numbers of U.S. ground forces.

The drone base will allow the U.S. to give France more intelligence on the militants its forces have been fighting in Mali, which neighbors Niger. Over time, it could extend the reach not only of American intelligence-gathering but also U.S. special operations missions to strengthen Niger's own security forces.

One of the two U.S. defense officials who discussed the development confirmed the American troops would fly drones and other surveillance platforms from Niger military airstrips, tracking militant and refugee movement inside Mali and around the border. The U.S. will share that intelligence with Niger's military, the official said

Bumper crop of Friday night news dumps this week.

Surveillance. Unarmed. To help our partners, like France, home of, you know, Freedom Fries that were served in the Congressional Dining Room of the U.S. because Republicans were so pissed about France's refusal to join the coalition of the willing. Ordered some myself in a diner when I went to Fort Myers, Fl to see Red Sox spring training.

I once saw a clip from a movie about WW II.

One of the G.I.'s is reading aloud, a letter from his wife, in which she tells him that they have become parents, even though he's been overseas a lot longer than 9 months. She's written explaining what the doctor said to explain the unusually long pregnancy, yadda, yadda.

After he finishes reading, he sits dumbfounded briefly, then, as he gets up to go about his day, he says over and over, "I believe it. I believe it. I believe it."

And scene.

Hmmm. Whaddaya know? Another connection to Niger. Maybe Niger is a place where the U.S. government trusts people to keep their big mouths shut, no matter what we say publicly about something going on in Niger?

State of the Union Address

In late February 2002, responding to inquiries from the Vice President's office and the Departments of State and Defense about the allegation that Iraq had a sales agreement to buy uranium in the form of yellowcake from Niger, the Central Intelligence Agency had authorized a trip by Joseph C. Wilson to Niger to investigate the possibility.<6> The former Prime Minister of Niger Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki reported to Wilson that he was unaware of any contracts for uranium sales to rogue states, though he was approached by a businessman on behalf of an Iraqi delegation about "expanding commercial relations" with Iraq, which Mayaki interpreted to mean uranium sales. Wilson ultimately concluded that there "was nothing to the story," and reported his findings in March 2002.<7>

In his January 28, 2003, State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush said "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."<8>

The more things change, the more they stay the Plame.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 05:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Very good, No Elephants! It's the new colonialism!
What's not to like? We can continue our high levels of military spending and at the same time make sure the multinational corporations can exploit the resources.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Not to mention using our "surveillance" drones any way we like
Edited on Sat Feb-23-13 11:46 AM by No Elephants
Fewer U.S. reporters snooping around Niger, if any.

What Americans don't know won't hurt the plutonomy.

All Americans do is jibber jabber about the Constitution and due process. Soooo tiresome!
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. it only takes a few minutes to arm a drone
You can be if things get hot, they will find some Hellfire Missiles to install.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-13 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yup.
Who would care? We'll just label them Al Queda.
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